Poetry from Edison Jennings

Read More: A brief interview with Edison Jennings

Feeding the Fire

Down the chute the coal chunks come, black and brittle
from time’s press, packed with essence of dim forests,
funk of flora, fungiforms, relics of the Paleozoic
destined for my furnace, fire-bellied Baal that warms
the innards of this house.
I toss the flame a shovel-load
and feel the blaze of opaque past transfigured into infrared,
then kick shut the furnace door and wipe the smudge
of pitch-black dust that seams the lifeline of my palm.

 

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What to Do with Leftovers

When she doesn’t show,
toss out the bread for birds,
freeze the shrimp in Tupperware,
and forget the words—

all that awful sweet-talk […]


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Bouquet

When you’re away, I sleep on your side of the bed
and smell the sheets where the weave is richest
with your scent—bath-damp hair, armpits, feet,
the alchemic reminders of your sex.
Call me, won’t you? Call me what you will:
pillow-sniffer, linen-lecher, truffle-nosing swine,
or better yet, a drowsy drunk who smells
the empty bottle’s cork to tease the tongue
and taste again the flower in the wine.

 

untitled

Tipple Town

1

The Church of Zion’s pews were filled,
And fifteen sinners testified. […]


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Edison Jennings is a part-time teacher living in the southwestern Appalachian region of Virginia. His poetry has appeared in Poetry Daily, Rattle, River Styx, Slate, Southwest Review, Zone 3 and other journals and anthologies. His chapbook, Reckoning, is available at Jacar Press (http://www.jacarpress.com/reckoning/).

 “Feeding the Fire,” “What to Do with Leftovers,” “Bouquet,” and “Tipple Town” won first prize for poetry in the 2017 Editor’s Reprint Award and originally appeared in Kenyon Review, Rattle, Boulevard, and The American Journal of Poetry, respectively.

Read More: A brief interview with Edison Jennings